Field Trip Friday: Carl Sandburg Home

 This past weekend we drove down to Flat Rock to visit the Carl Sandburg Home. It is part of the National Park Service, and the first  park to honor a poet. My main interest was in seeing the goat portion of the farm. Mrs. Sandburg was known for her prize winning goats and raised Nibians, Saanens and Toggenburgs.

The park service still raises goats on the land and they are descendents of the original Sandburg herd.  We got a demonstration on how to judge a goat, the barns were huge and beautiful. We talked with the ranger for awhile and actually ended up putting in a bid for their Nubian herd sire. The auction is on October 2, so we are crossing our fingers that we can get him, since he's top of the line genetically speaking.

We also took a tour of the house. And heard all about the history of the house, land and family. Books were everywhere inside!

This was the view from the front of the house....not a road in sight and absolutely beautiful. I can see how it would be a writer's paradise.

And this was the view from closer to the road looking up at the house. Almost equally as beautiful. 

Now it's your turn! Have you taken any fun and educational field trips lately? Come and share yours and take some time to see how others take learning out of the house! Please link directly to your post and don't forget to link back here so others can find us!


The Mountain State Fair: Winning Ribbons

Today was the day the boys got to pick up their fair entries and see the results up close! They were really excited! So here are a bunch of pictures of them with their ribbons. They were so, so proud of their achievement and so am I!

Cohen won 3rd place for his Christmas ornament, 2nd for his yeast bread, and first for his pie, cupcakes and cookies. His chocolate chip cookies also received a large Judge's choice ribbon (he was really proud of that big rosette!)

Cale won 2nd for his peacock, tempra painting, and his decorated cupcakes. He placed first with his soft pretzels, fudge and metal craft. His panda bear cupcakes also received a Judge's Choice rosette!

Rylan placed 3rd with his dried basil and his cheesecake. He got 2nd place for his banana peppers, oil pastel drawing and garlic bread sticks. His black and white flower photograph and decorated cupcakes came in first. Last year he made flower cupcakes and they placed first and received Best of Show. He made the same design this year and came in first and Best of Show again. He was really excited to see that ribbon again!

 This year Lakin was finally able to take part in the fair in the participation section. He received 3 ribbons (and $3) for his great projects. He worked hard right along with everyone else and I am happy he was finally able to take part.

 Now I have 10 framed art pieces to hang up in the stairwell and shelf space to find for all of their other pieces. They immediately decorated their walls with their prize ribbons, Rylan added his current ones to last years. They already are making plans for what to enter next year!

Have your kids ever entered projects into the county or state fair? I highly recommend the experience!


Field Trip Friday: The Mountain State Fair

This week we took a trip over to the Mountain State Fair. We didn't usually go to the fair in TN, and we don't do the rides (or food) but we do enjoy the exhibits and the animals. So we decided to check it out on the day they offered free admission to kids.

They all enjoyed digging up potatoes in this bin of sawdust.  And looking at the animals- chickes, ducks, goats, sheep. We hung around the Moo-ternity tent for awhile waiting to see a calf being born. We left and came back again at the end to a newborn calf already in the hay (this picture is not of the newborn calf....)

 The barns were amazing. Huge, long, with tons of stalls. Annika liked this one in particular. She ignored the real ducks and geese and played and touched the little fake ones and the pumpkins and all the other fall decorations. We had to drag her away. 

Of course we also checked out the Expo Building.....

What about you? Did you take a special field trip this week? Or do you have an old favorite to share? Link up below and tell us about it! Please link back here on your post so this blog hop can grow! The more the merrier!


The Mountain State Fair Round-Up

 The kids look forward to entering the fair every year. Last year when we finalized our plans to relocate that was one of the things they asked about- is there a fair? So we searched online and found it- the Mountain State Fair. Close by, tons of categories and pretty similar to the TN Valley Fair they had entered in the previous 2 years. When it came time to submit entries, they went big- Rylan entered close to 20 categories. Cale and Cohen entered around 13. And Lakin qualified to entered the participation group so he entered 3 things.

Drop off day was last Tuesday and Wednesday, so they had been working hard on their entries everyday. Here is what they entered:

      Art: Colored pencil, oil pastel, water color and tempera paint
      Crafts: Christmas Decoration, recycled craft, any other craft, pottery
      Baking: Decorated cupcakes, drop cookies, pie, yeast bread

     Art: Colored pencil, tempera paint, crayon
     Crafts: Christmas decoration, sculpture, recycled, metal craft, pottery and any other
     Baking: Decorated cupcakes, rolled cookies, old fashion fudge, any other baked item

    Art: Crayon, oil pastel
    Photography: Color animal. color plants/flower, B&W plant/flower, B&W animal
    Agriculture: Banana peppers (he did sign up for more, but our garden didn't cooperate this year)
    Crafts: Christmas ornaments, paper craft
    Baking: Decorated cupcakes, yeast rolls, cupcakes, muffins, pie and any other baked item

Lakin had 6 categories to choose from and he entered art, jewelry and crafts.

 I must say that the baking portion is the most stressful. With 14 items and one kitchen it got a little hectic. But because of the location, later drop off times and the items the kids chose to make we were able to stretch the baking from Monday afternoon-Wednesday morning and still make the deadline. But there were 3 batches of cupcakes, Rylan's cheesecake and garlic bread sticks, a pumpkin pie, a peanut butter pie, pumpkin muffins, spice cookies, chocolate chip cookies, honey oatmeal bread, 1 batch of botched fudge and another that set, and soft pretzels! And that is a lot. Plus bagging, tagging and printing recipes for each one. And next year Lakin gets to join in on the baking fun!

We did take a trip on Friday to check out the fair- so they did get to see if their entries won. But we didn't see all of them so I will wait to unveil the winning entries until next Monday when we go to pick up their stuff!


The Coming of Fall

Yesterday a cool front came through bringing a little rain and wind, and by the time our nightly chores came along it was in the 60s and we some of us needed jackets. Annika fed the chickens under her brothers' supervision while I fed the goats and Cohen filled up waters.

Then we went through the garden. The season is winding down. This year has been frustrating for me. We are learning the land, the pests, and the climate. This year was a learning year. I am learning that the mountains of North Carolina are not the same as the Tennessee Valley. I have a long list of what needs to be done before next spring.

Most of the zucchini and tomatoes are done and we pulled them up today. You can see the wood chips did their job and kept the weeds away. The peppers are still going strong. And I have lots of basil, tarragon and parsley. The sweet potatoes will be dug up just before the first frost.

We spent the day outside today. Pulling spent plants, adding more cover and compost to spots that never got mulched the first go round.  The chickens destroyed half my tomato crop this year, but they did a wonderful job in the compost bin. It's best looking compost that has ever come from our own heap.

 So for next year, the garden will get fenced. It will be expanded. It may or may not get raised beds. And in my head, it looks beautiful. The weather is turning, and I have all fall and winter to get those plans figured out and into reality.

linked to the Homestead Barn Hop, Country Garden Showcase,


Field Trip Friday #3

Welcome to Field Trip Friday! Thanks so much for joining me! This blog hop is all about sharing those wonderfully, educational experiences outside the home. From neighborhood walks to big city museums to treks through the forest. Any activity where you are your kids get out and explore with your senses and experience nature, science, history, art, etc first hand.

Last week there were some great posts linked and I encourage you to go and check them out! Here are the top 3 most visited links:

Our Life's Adventures posted about her family's trip to Sherwood Forest and the Robin Hood Festival. I know many kids- including my own who would absolutely LOVE to go here.

Morning Hugs and Goodnight Kisses shared their day at the lake and their wonderful nature finds.

And Home to 4 Kiddos showed some amazing pictures and experiences from the Naval Air Station and some authentic WWII planes. My boys would love to see something like that!

This week I shared our trip to Hendersonville during the North Carolina Apple Festival and the many museums and experiences we had that day. Did you take a special field trip this week? Or do you have an old one to share? You can share your links below!

To help this blog hop grow, please link back to this post so more people can find it and share!


Exploring Hendersonville: Part 2

 Once we left the antique car show on Saturday, we stopped by the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club in the old train station since they were holding an open house as well.

We started by exploring the old caboose before heading inside. The boys got instructed on how to operate a model train by one of the junior engineers.

Then we went into see all the models. I always forget how much my kids love exhibits like these. They spent a really long time in these 2 rooms. Watching the trains and the city replicas. They had a little Thomas the Train model set up in back that the kids could operate. Annika loved that part.

 After I pried them away from the trains we headed to our last stop. The WNC Air Museum. Again it was pretty empty, which means we got a really great tour and history of all the of the planes in the building.

There was a gyroplane that they could sit on. And the kids got instructed on how to get into the planes without breaking the wings and were allowed to sit in this WWI aircraft.

There were lots of models and experimental planes. A few unfinished and never flown planes that the museum is working to restore/complete.

 All day we had been seeing the biplane flying overhead, so we stopped to watch it land and take off before we left.

And that concludes our tour of Hendersonville. Big cities have a lot to offer, but sometimes small towns hold little known treasures that can make for a wonderful day.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Field Trip Friday to link up your best field trips, and to read about how others have spent their time outside of the home!

This post is linked to Field Trip Friday